However, in more recent years, a social audit of the overwhelming needs within the broad South African context has prompted a more focused CSI (corporate social investment) approach - resulting in the founding of The Heart of Gold Trust by PGP group chief executive Dr Andrew Golding. Recently, the Trust proudly enrolled its first three learners into schools in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng regions for the 2015 academic year.
According to Dr Golding, the Trust aims to invest in the lives of exceptionally talented youth, particularly in the areas of academia, sport, art, music or culture, but who do not have adequate financial resources, and provide them holistic educational opportunities to develop their talent to its full potential.
“For a long time we have shared the vision of many other South Africans, that the very heart of the future economic and social prosperity of our extraordinary country is education. However, as we began to envision how the added component of nurtured talent could impact communities, we realised that inside every adult there is still a child with big dreams, dreams that often become inhibited by reality. When a community is able to relate to an individual who has made it onto the world stage, it is given hope – childhood aspirations are reignited and this creates an atmosphere for positive change.
“We believe that through focused tutorship, developed leadership qualities and nurtured talent, we will not only add to the collective effort and contribution already being made by many, but also provide an opportunity to grow champions for tomorrow – champions who, in turn, are likely to positively impact the communities around them,” he says.
Knowing that the educational arena can be very challenging as far as selection and governance are concerned, the Heart of Gold Trust made a decision to partner with MAD CHARITY™ (Make A Difference), a non-profit organisation with significant expertise in the area of leadership development and education. MAD was founded in 2003 by Francois Pienaar and focuses on leadership development through education with an aim to identify academically talented scholars who do not have adequate financial resources and offer them support in the areas of education, mentorship, leadership and life-skills development.
According to Dr Golding, MAD is already providing invaluable support and guidance to The Heart of Gold Trust, with whom it shares a similar vision.
The Heart of Gold Trust’s mission to touch individual lives for the future of many South Africans, is shared by Francois Pienaar Chairman of MAD, who says that one of the key reasons that the Heart of Gold Trust selected MAD as a partner is because of the unique leadership development and mentorship support that is provided to each and every scholar on the Individual Education Programme to develop them as future leaders and help them reach their full potential.
“At MAD we believe that our core offering of nurturing, holistically supporting and developing the leaders of tomorrow through the educational and related opportunities we provide to them today, differentiates us as a non-profit organisation in the educational and leadership developmental space,” says Pienaar.
In true PGP spirit, funding of the Trust began as a family affair with agents sponsoring every gruelling kilometre of their chief executive’s participation in the 2014 IRONMAN South Africa – the company matched their efforts and today there are three outstanding learners receiving an education deserving of their unique talents. Going forward PGP agents around the country have elected to contribute R50 to the trust from every sale, while donations and partnerships through other corporates and individuals are most welcome. Enquiries to this end can be made to the trust’s co-ordinator Niki Jackson (021 710 1700).
Application for a Heart of Gold Trust scholarship through MAD is a rigorous process including written applications, several rounds of interviews and psychometric testing ensuring that three outstanding learner’s– each with unique talent, excellent academic capability, leadership qualities and dreams for a brighter South Africa – were chosen to be supported by the Trust, says Dr Golding.
In terms of talent, the learners boast athletic and academic achievements as well as the refreshing confidence that their dreams to be a pilot, an accountant and a ballerina-come-physiotherapist will someday impact their communities and even the world.
“To say that we are excited to support Nomfundo (grade 9), Nomsa (grade 8) and Georgina (grade 8) throughout their high school journeys and watch them grow into young adults with purpose is an understatement,” he concludes.
(Full names and schools of the beneficiaries have purposefully being omitted in order to protect their privacy as minors.)
For further information contact Pam Golding Properties on 021 7101700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.